Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
THE Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (Zimta) has ruled out industrial action, saying it is in favour of dialogue with Government to address its members’ concerns.
In an interview yesterday, Zimta president and Apex Council team leader Mr Richard Gundani commended Government for the cushioning allowances it paid last week.
However, he said salaries and allowances which take into account the prevailing socio-economic environment provide a lasting solution.
“The truth of the matter is that the teacher has been incapacitated for a long time and a lot will be forced to moonlight at the end of the day. We don’t want that as it affects the pupil.
“At the same time we don’t want schools closed due to industrial action. Schools must remain open. We will continue engaging in dialogue with Government until we find a lasting solution,” he said.
Mr Gundani said they were not demanding a salary increment from Government.
He said they want United States dollar salaries they were earning up to October 2018 when the least paid teacher was getting around US$500 per month to be converted to the local currency at the interbank rate.
Mr Gundani said the least paid teacher must be paid about $8 000.
“At the moment the least paid teacher is taking home about $1 000 instead of about $8 000. We are contesting this gap, it should not have been there because this is what happened to the prices and services. They went up, but we are still where we were in terms of salaries back in 2018.”
Government has said it is committed to addressing civil servants’ grievances.